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The corporate concentration of wealth has significant consequences on the political process in Australia and abroad. eyewashdesign: A. Golden

Welfare offers rich pickings for the wealthy

A few weeks ago, a Deakin University academic, Martin Hirst, made some interesting comments about the politics and economics of class warfare and redistribution. He correctly noted that the accusations…
Pay it down - Treasurer Wayne Swan goes through his now-usual exhortation to banks to pass on today’s Reserve Bank 25 basis point rate cut in full. AAP

Reserve Bank cuts rate to 3.5% - experts respond

Amid the tumultuous economic climate in the US and Europe - not to mention the tumbling fortunes of our sharemarket - the Reserve Bank of Australia has followed market sentiment and cut the official cash…
Drug prices reduce dramatically when large multinationals’ monopoly is broken. m.p.3./Flickr

Big Pharma in legal battles for monopoly prices in India

Two large multinational pharmaceutical companies are fighting for patents and monopoly pricing in Indian courts. The outcomes of the cases – involving Novartis and Bayer – are likely to determine the country’s…
If your morning newspaper disappeared, would you miss it? flickr/NS Newsflash

Will we miss our daily newspaper?

The hares are running on the proposition that the Fairfax Media board is considering a medium-term plan to give up on printed Monday to Friday editions of its main mastheads in favour of a digital-only…
Foreign Minister Bob Carr expelled two Syrian diplomats on 29 May, 2012. AAP/Lukas Coch

The West must quit the theatrics and tell the truth on Syria

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia will lead the way in expelling Syrian diplomats in response to the Al Houla massacre. These theatrics are just another act in the shadow play…

State of the not-quite nation

Imagine a woman locked into an arranged marriage at an early age. She’s been living for decades with an abusive, unemployed, substance-abusing husband. He beats her and the kids regularly and is pretty…

Why Houla? What makes a massacre marketable?

The massacre in the Syrian town of Houla over the weekend is one of those events that seems to provide a tipping point of outrage. It’s not a particularly remarkable event by the standards of the Syrian…
Decades of work to reduce rhino poaching has achieved little. Farming rhino is one alternative, but what happens to a species when it’s domesticated? Jim Epler

Farming endangered species to save them - extinction by another means?

When we talk of conserving an animal species what do we actually mean? We are likely to have in mind a vision of a rhinoceros (or any other species, for that matter) being given the opportunity to pursue…

Egyptians may opt to strike camp

As Egyptians count the votes to choose their first democratically-elected President, their neighbours in Israel are in a sphincter-clenching hiatus to see which way the cards fall. The winner of the Presidency…
Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi is laid to rest in Libya earlier this week. EPA/Sabri Elmhedwi

Al-Megrahi and Lockerbie: the truth will never be known

At least one Lockerbie conspiracy theory has been laid to rest this week: that the only man convicted of the 1988 aircraft bombing was faking a terminal illness. But the death of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi…
The dingo fence is a blunt instrument; we could do better. Paleontour/Flickr

Can Australia afford the dingo fence?

We feel we have to set the record straight after some of our (Bradshaw’s) comments were taken grossly out of context, or not considered at all (Ritchie’s). A bubbling kerfuffle in the media over the last…
Lachlan Murdoch’s familial and professional links with News Corporation - as well as Channel 10 and radio network DMG - are cause for concern for internet activists Avaaz. AAP

Web activists Avaaz put Lachlan Murdoch’s media interests under the spotlight

The worldwide online activist group Avaaz, which claims over 14 million members and operations in 193 countries, has this week launched an Australian campaign against Lachlan Murdoch. The group has written…
Try telling sacked Toyota workers we live in a classless society. AAP/Julian Smith

Class warfare in Australia? We should be so lucky

The idea that Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have launched a “class war” in Australia through last week’s federal budget is a huge joke. I don’t believe The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell even…
Swan may be appealing to a voting bloc that doesn’t exist. AAP/Alan Porritt

Labor’s populist turn unlikely to succeed

The 2012 budget came at a particularly challenging time for Labor. The government has sought to achieve two distinct (if related) political goals: bolster Labor’s “economic management” credentials and…
At the end of the four years, only 5% of Australians with a disability will be covered. Flickr/afri

NDIS funding a start but limited trial means a long wait for most

Last night’s budget contained an important step towards realising a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with $1bn allocated over the next four years. Of these funds, $342.5 million will pay for…

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